Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Lai Massacre(美萊村屠殺)

The My Lai Massacre was the mass murder conducted by a unit of the U.S. Army on March 16, 1968 of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam, all of whom were civilians and a majority of whom were women, children, and elderly people. This was the ugly incident happen during the Vietnam War by American soldiers.

Many of the victims were sexually abused, beaten, tortured, and some of the bodies were found mutilated. The massacre took place in the hamlets of Mỹ Lai and My Khe of Sơn Mỹ village during the Vietnam War. While 26 US soldiers were initially charged with criminal offenses for their actions at My Lai, only William Calley was convicted. He served only three years of an original life sentence, while on house arrest.

When the incident became public knowledge in 1969, it prompted widespread outrage around the world. The massacre also reduced U.S. support at home for the Vietnam War. Three U.S. servicemen who made an effort to halt the massacre and protect the wounded were denounced by U.S. Congressmen, received hate mail, death threats and mutilated animals on their doorsteps. Only 30 years after the event were their efforts honored

Rescue helicopter
In 1998, the three former U.S. servicemen who stopped their comrades from killing a number of villagers, significantly reducing casualties at My Lai, were awarded medals in Washington D.C. The veterans also made contact with the survivors of My Lai.

Intervention helicopter's crew consisted of:

1. Hugh Thompson, Jr. — Warrant Officer One, helicopter pilot, confronted the ground forces personally.
2. Glenn Andreotta — Specialist Four, crew chief.
3. Lawrence Colburn — Specialist Four, door gunner.

30 years later the crew was decorated for their actions at My Lai with Soldier's Medals, the U.S. non-combat heroism awards (Andreotta, who was killed in action over Vietnam shortly after the events at My Lai, received the medal posthumously)

Recipient of 1970 'Ethical Humanist Award'
Michael Bernhardt — a sergeant, refused to participate in the killing of civilians and was threatened by Medina to not attempt to expose the massacre by writing to his congressman, and as a result he was allegedly given more dangerous duties such as point duty on patrol. Later he would help expose and detail the massacre in numerous interviews with the press, and also served as a prosecution witness in the trial of Ernest Medina where he was subjected to intense cross examination by defense council F. Lee Bailey. Recipient of 1970 'Ethical Humanist Award'.

He shot his own foot
Herbert Carter — platoon tunnel rat, claimed he shot himself in the foot in order to be MEDEVACed out of the village.

1970 Pulitzer Prize winner - Seymour (Sy) Myron Hersh
Seymour (Sy) Myron Hersh (born April 8, 1937) gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. His 2004 reports on the US military's mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison gained much attention.

Related articles:

1. My Lai Massacre,

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